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5 Strange Laws that Might Surprise You

Laws are put in place by officials to regulate and maintain boundaries and standards. As times change, laws tend to change, too. Laws that were relevant or important for one reason or another might not be necessary anymore. In hindsight, these laws may seem silly or strange. As new laws and revised laws take priority, many archaic laws stick around in the books simply because nobody thinks to remove them. Here are six strange New Jersey laws that might surprise you:

Pumping Your Own Gas is Illegal

While you have noticed that you don’t pump your own gas in New Jersey, have you ever wondered why? As it happens, having your gas pumped for you isn’t just a courtesy – it’s following the law. Placed in effect in 1949, the Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act and Regulations forbids drivers from pumping their gas. The law was created to keep citizens safe from the fire hazards that could occur while handling fuel. The law is still in effect today despite attempts to remove it. The penalty for pumping your own gas can result in a fine ranging from $50-$500.

Animal Farm

If any livestock, be it horses, sheep, or cattle “get over, creep through or break down” their fenced-in area and escape, the owner is left responsible for the damages.

No Littering (From Planes)

New Jersey law specifically forbids anybody to drop any object from a plane, except for loose sand or a water ballast. The dangers from this offense are actually quite real as it can cause serious injury. Failing to comply with this law can result in a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in prison.

No Cutting Off Horse-Drawn Carriages

Some New Jersey counties prohibit an automobile from cutting off or surpassing a horse-drawn carriage. A law that’s fairly understandable at a time when carriages and automobiles shared roads, presumably so as to not spook the horse and cause a catastrophe.


Protecting yourself and your home is of the utmost importance, especially in the case of a home invasion. However, did you know that New Jersey law requires a person to ask an intruder to leave the premises before taking any action in physical self-defense?
Be it for strange laws or more obvious ones, at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A., our attorneys have been effectively representing the legal needs of our clients since 1975. If you are facing criminal charges, contact our criminal defense lawyers today. 

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